Taking a Break

I made up a pattern in September for a cabled sweater.  I’ve knit the damn thing twice – casting off the second one in the first week of January.  I have extensive notes and sketches and colour coded schematics on the pattern, and I just need to edit it and type it up.  But it’s so hard!  And I think faster than I can write, so I’ve skipped out little bits like a k1 here or a p1 there.  I have realized a few crucial errors that made writing up the pattern seem like an indomitable mountain of details so things are ticking along more easily than before, but hot diggity.  I have loads of respect for designers.  I’m about a third of the way through the yoke.  I was hoping to get a bit further tonight, and then pick it up again tomorrow for the win, but somehow, I’m beginning to doubt my stamina.

Regardless, I have a pretty blue and gold work in progress in Mission Falls 136 that is coquettishly sneaking in and out of my consciousness.  I may have to pay it its due later on.

I’ve tried it on every few inches to ensure a great fit.  I decided to knit four more decrease rounds (for a total of 40 stitches decreased).  I then knit another inch and a half or so and then started increasing by picking up the stitch knit below and knitting it.  I’m planning on increasing 40 stitches so the decreases are mirrored.  I have a strong personal preference for sweaters that are long enough to hit the hips because I have a short waist and I can pretend to myself that longer sweaters make me look taller.

I was looking at the projects page on ravelry.com, and I saw that one knitter said,

I increased until the total length of the sweater (along an increase) was 9”. It ended up being 72 sts for each front and back and 56 sts for each sleeve. I’m not entirely sure why it is no longer in the ratio that I cast on in, but it fits so I’m not asking questions.

Well, I can try to explain why.  If you cast on (as she did) 96 stitches with 16 stitches for each sleeve and 32 stitches for the front and back and end up with 256 stitches total (56 stitches for each sleeve and 72 stitches for the front and back), you have increased 160 stitches over 40 rounds or 20 increase rounds.

The pattern/formula instructs you to cast on a number of stitches that is both divisible by four (so you can do 2×2 ribbing) and three (so you can divide the cast on number into thirds; one third for the front, one for the back, and one sixth each for the sleeves).  You then place markers between the front and the sleeves and the back and the sleeves (four markers total).  Every second row after the ribbing requires that you increase 1 stitch before and after each marker – 8 increases per round – but the increases are unevenly placed so that the sleeves (only one third of the total cast on) get 4 increases per round and the front and back only get 2 each.  That means that one third of the stitches cast on is increasing at twice the rate of the other two thirds.  Get it?

Let’s try to express this algebraically.

32 + 2 (20) = 72 or, the cast on number plus twice the number of increase rounds (because there are two increases per increase round) equals the final number of stitches for the back or front. Simplified, this becomes…

1/3 C + x(R) = F where C = cast on stitches, x = some integer that represents the number of increases per round, R = the number of increase rounds, and F = the final number of stitches.  Applied to the sleeves on this knitter’s sweater, this becomes…

32 + 4(20) = 112 Don’t forget the final step though!  The sleeves were only 1/6 of the total CO amount, so we need to divide 112 by 2, ending up with 56 stitches for the sleeves.

Just thought I’d get that off of my chest.  What’s that Patrick?

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